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cafcass section 7 report

(5 Posts)
luckz666 Fri 28-Feb-14 08:02:14

The courts have requested a section 7 report which we attend a cafcass office on monday.
Can anyone shed some light on what this involves?

STIDW Fri 28-Feb-14 10:10:00

It depends on who "we" are. S7 reports have lots of different bits and pieces which aren't all used in every case. In a nutshell parts of the report document what parents share with the CAFCASS officer about the family background and the history of the dispute, children's views, the reporter's conclusions and recommendations.

luckz666 Fri 28-Feb-14 18:33:16

My partners mother who we have had nothing to do with for 13 years is going for access.

Spero Fri 28-Feb-14 18:35:56

Here is section 7 of the Children Act 1989
Welfare reports.

(1)A court considering any question with respect to a child under this Act may—

(a)ask [F1an officer of the Service][F2or a Welsh family proceedings officer] ; or

(b)ask a local authority to arrange for—

(i)an officer of the authority; or

(ii)such other person (other than [F1an officer of the Service][F2or a Welsh family proceedings officer] ) as the authority considers appropriate,

to report to the court on such matters relating to the welfare of that child as are required to be dealt with in the report.
(2)The Lord Chancellor may [F3, after consulting the Lord Chief Justice,] make regulations specifying matters which, unless the court orders otherwise, must be dealt with in any report under this section.

(3)The report may be made in writing, or orally, as the court requires.

(4)Regardless of any enactment or rule of law which would otherwise prevent it from doing so, the court may take account of—

(a)any statement contained in the report; and

(b)any evidence given in respect of the matters referred to in the report,

in so far as the statement or evidence is, in the opinion of the court, relevant to the question which it is considering.
(5)It shall be the duty of the authority or [F1officer of the Service][F2or a Welsh family proceedings officer] to comply with any request for a report under this section.

Spero Fri 28-Feb-14 18:38:32

Which seems to be a very long winded way of saying that the court is asking for a report about what to do in your situation. The court knows the law, but the question of what is best for the child is more difficult to answer and they need some independent impartial information. Therefore section 7 reports are almost always requested when there is a contest as either someone from CAFCASS or a SW needs to talk to the children (if they are old enough) and get an idea about what they want.

The reporter will also talk to schools, nurseries etc and do a criminal record check.

So best thing you can do is turn up and answer questions as well as you can. You are allowed to challenge the report in court if you think they have got it wrong.

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